As voice becomes ever more dominant, the obvious question is what the role of screens will be. With digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home coming into millions of homes, voice is becoming a common method of interaction.
Billed as the first telematics-based ad network, Answer Marketplace plans to connect insurance advertisers with millions of drivers via a network of publishers' apps. The network plans to leverage the driving patterns of people through smartphone apps.
Drones are now being tapped for major marketing opportunities. Intel has been taking its Shooting Stars drones to fly to areas with large crowds and plenty of publicity.
While Amazon and others explore using drones for deliveries, Intel continues to tap the flying devices for entertainment. After a record-breaking Olympics opening using more than 1,200 drones flying in patterns simultaneously, Intel used 300 of its Shooting Stars drones for the closing ceremony. The drone light shows use hundreds of drones, all directed by one pilot. The opening drone show for the Olympics was taped in advance, but the closing air show was performed live.
Based on a new forecast, augmented reality -- including mobile AR and smart glasses -- could reach an installed base of more than 3 billion, according to the projections in Digi-Capital's Augmented/Virtual Reality Report Q1.
Most consumers would not buy a driverless car, even if cost was not an issue. Even if they do not own a fully autonomous vehicle, most U.S. drivers would be afraid to even ride in one. Consumer research related to connected cars continues to show that autonomous cars are of relatively low interest to most consumers.
Audi just introduced a vehicle-integrated toll payment system on some models so that car owners don't have to place an additional device onto their windshields to pay for road tolls. The Integrated Toll Module is a toll transponder built into the vehicle's rearview mirror. The technology is compatible with existing tolling agencies nationwide, which can be linked with a driver's new or current account, according to Audi.
Waymo recently ordered thousands of hybrid minivans for its ride-hailing service in Phoenix. That pilot may actually become more real, since the state department of transportation recently issued a permit to the Google spinoff to operate cars as a transportation network company, according to reports in Quartz and Bloomberg. As a ride-hailing service, this would put Waymo in direct competition with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, both of which also are working on self-driving vehicles.
Nokia just announced it will conduct a "review of strategic options" for its wearables business, which includes hybrid smartwatches, scales and other digital health devices.
The technologies of Xively, which was part of LogMeIn, will be added to Google's cloud services, strengthening Google's cloud competition with Amazon and Microsoft. In 2014, LogMeIn acquired Ionia, a Boston-based software integrator that lets companies link internet-connected devices into their sales and planning software systems. That $12 million acquisition was then merged into Xively, which was a LogMeIn product rolled out a year earlier.